DEFINITION of 'National Association of Realtors (NAR)'

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is a national organization of real estate brokers, created to promote the real estate profession and foster professional behavior in its members. The association has its own code of ethics to which it requires its members to adhere.

The NAR has over 600,000 members nationwide. It has 50 state associations as well as a number of affiliate organizations.

BREAKING DOWN 'National Association of Realtors (NAR)'

In 2015, the NAR's membership increased to over 1.1 million. It claims to be the largest trade association, comprising real estate brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors as well as others in the real estate industry. Members belong to one or more of the 1,300 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of Realtors or to one of 87 cooperating associations in 66 countries.

Research Division

There is a research division that collects and disseminates real estate data and conducts economic analysis. Delivery of this information takes place via press releases, reports, presentations, and daily blog posts about the overall economy and housing market.

Well-known national and regional housing statistics include existing home sales, pending home sales index and the housing affordability index. The organization releases existing home sales monthly, providing national and regional price and volume statistics. The data is for the past 12 months along with annual totals going back three years. It is broken down into existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. The first week of each month, the NAR releases the pending home sales index, considered a leading indicator for housing activity. The index measures signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. The housing affordability index measures whether a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on an average home based on recent monthly price and income data.

The NAR also provides a host of research reports, including a monthly report on foot traffic, which attempts to predict future sales trends. Others are local market reports, which analyze a host of data, and a confidence index.

Strategic Plan and Benefits

The NAR annually updates its strategic plan to reflect the challenges and opportunities that the association and the real estate industry expect to confront during the next three to five years.

A member of the National Association of Realtors has access to certain benefits, business tools, real estate market data, educational opportunities and discount programs. The National Association of Realtors also has an educational program, including an on-line ethics course.

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